The Christmas season brings with it a number of expectations. Some are looking forward to new toys. Some anticipate new memories. Some are prepared to encounter old friends and family. It is a time of peculiar sounds, smells, and songs. For some, it stirs anxiety and unrest, maybe even sadness. Others await unspeakable joy. Simeon was expecting Christ. Luke tells us about it.
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” (Lk. 2:25–26)
Simeon is described as a a “righteous and devout” man in Jerusalem, “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” And, according to Luke, “the Holy Spirit was upon Him” (Lk. 2:25). He was nothing short of a God-fearing man of faith. He loved God. He knew God and firmly believed the Lord would send a promised Messiah (Gen. 3:15). In fact, “it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Lk. 2:26).
When Jesus was brought into the temple, Simeon saw Him and “took him up in his arms and blessed God” with great joy. The expected Christ had come. “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word,” said Simeon, “for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Lk 2:29-32).
Simeon anticipated the Lord’s salvation, the Christ. He waited patiently, but expectantly. He believed and trusted God. He was righteous in his walk, devoted in his ways. He lived for the coming Lord, so he saw the present Christ.
There is an obvious connection between the man’s devotion, expectancy, and fulfillment. He saw the Lord, because he looked. He touched the Christ, because he reached. He experienced the Joy, because he believed.
What is it that you are looking, reaching, and believing for this Christmas? Are you devoted to Him? Are you expecting Jesus? Is Christmas more than toys, memories, friends, and family? If so, then one day you will depart in peace, for your eyes have seen the Lord’s salvation.